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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lopsided. How having breast cancer can be really distracting.

Design by Carin Goldberg

It's impossible not to see the John Gall-designed The Verificationist when you see a cover like this; I don't know if his design is the first of its kind, or just the most well-known or well-regarded. Regardless: if you bring all-too-familiar universal symbols into your design, you had better bring your A game.


This works so well not just because of the head drifting off to the right, suggesting the "distraction" referred to in the subtitle, but because placing the head there makes this illustration dynamic: she's looking at her body from the side, evaluating her lopsided breasts. And how the title is set suggests lopsidedness and disconnection, with the word "distraction" run onto a third line.

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10 comments:

Sketchee.com said...

The weirdness of this cover and the way the type is set. I can't help but look at things differently.

The Book Designer said...

very powerful. Perfect.

The Book Designer said...

on a side note, I have been peeling of heads, arms, and legs of bathroom stall symbols and rearranging them for years. I am sure it's not something that just crossed Galls head. Every time you see those tings you feel like drawing on them or popping their heads off.

Maybe I'm just messed up.

Verificationist had totally different proportions and felt different. This feels like a Sahre cover—simple and elegantly to the point.

Stephen Tiano said...

Looking at it as as a book designer, the illy is just right--perfect. But as a reader, i find the treatment of the type simply awful.

As compelling as the title sounds, I wouldn't pick the book up in a bookstore, based on how awful the type looks. I might not even get to reading the whole title through. it's more than a disjointed distraction: it's irritating.

doubler said...

very beautiful

nate s. said...

We've had debates in our office regarding this "Sahre-esque" kind of type treatment. I tend to think it works very well in this case (as the illustration is very clinical and clean), but I'm sure there are those who would disagree.

buckley said...

carin goldberg did this for me. she has done plenty of things along these lines, with pretty much this exact figure in fact - before gall or sahre, and no doubt others did as such before her - and as a universal figure, and a universal font, the pattern will no doubt be seen tons more. as well, the type could easily be chalked up to that overly used flush left (or right) sanserif uk thing. can this sort of type design really be attributed to one designer? god, no.

its good, smart, simple, design. assigning its "look" to someone seems silly; to me anyway.

The Book Designer said...

Bravo. Without equal, she is my favorite designer. Nice to know she did this and she is still just as timeless and unfettered as ever. I love it that much more.

A.S. King said...

I absolutely love this cover. Part of that could be because I also *love* the title. But the visual really works for me.

Rebecca Walker said...

I love this cover--it's one of my favorites of all time. I think the designer may have done my first cover years ago--To Be Real--but I'm not sure--in any case, this comment isn't about that but how genius this one is. There is a part of me that wants to frame it. As it is, I've got it on my desk and the design beckons constantly. The only problem with the overall design, imho, is the interior of the book--terrible font, completely disjointed, disconnected from the outside--as if they got a master for the cover and a novice for the inside matter. Disappointing.